The one-year anniversary of my dad is coming up very quickly. I often think to myself: Where did the time go?  It doesn’t seem like a year at all. The first holidays quickly became the past for me, trying not to think of it and how hard it was for me and my family.

Valentine’s Day to my dad was just an ordinary day, just another Hallmark holiday. He was absolutely right. I never got anything for my dad for Valentine’s Day because I knew — and he also knew — how much I loved him. The chocolate wasn’t going to make a difference.

I would love to get my dad a gift now. It wouldn’t be something you get a store. It would a hug and kiss. It would make me so much happier. It’s the worst feeling when someone you love isn’t there anymore on a regular basis. And Valentine’s Day can be even harder; your heart is broken and you think: Where is my big teddy bear who made me laugh and was always there for me?

People often get discouraged when they don’t have a boyfriend for that one day of romance. I think to myself: I’d rather have my dad on Valentine’s Day every year because I know he loves me unconditionally. He would be the best person to share Valentine’s Day with.

I try to remember that my father is always with me. My dad will always be my valentine!

Michelle Gallucci 2011

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Michelle Gallucci

I lost my dad in 2010. It was sudden. I have lost a lot of people in life and I'm only 18 years old. I'm a college freshman, I love being with my family and friends. I love being active and learning new things. I didn't know how to deal with the death of my dad until my friend suggested writing. That made me realize that it's okay to grieve and to feel mad. I live every moment as if its my last because we never know when our last heartbeat will come.

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